Tuesday, October 18, 2022

4027 : Coffee on my soul

Picture this. Its late evening, almost night. I am sitting in a dear friend's room and sipping strong bitter coffee. This is my second glass. The previous mug is still sitting between us.

She is on the bed, happily cross legged and I am stretched out on the couch. Wearing striped pjs and a home tshirt, she looks like she is in her toy town. I know her well enough to know that she is always in a zone for nonsense, and always in a zone to admonish me for something I am fking up.

So much for being crazy besties.

I realise, its late and I am hinting at wanting to wind the night down. So I ask her, "Where should I keep these mugs?"

"Leave them there.", she says in her typical curt business like tone. I give her the look of askance.

She retorts in Hindi," This is not my home. You can leave your shit there, literally your poop,  if you want, and someone will clean up later."

Ok, I get the message. I now politely tell her, "Let me at least wash these cups, you will need them for your morning tea."

Her eyes light up and she says, "Wait, give me the cup which you used earlier.". I dutifully hand it to her. She looks into it and says "Aha.....there we have it."

"What?", I ask. 

"The patterns at the bottom."

"You know of coffee patterns?"

She is now visibly offended. "I learnt how to read them.". 

In disbelief, I say, "You?....I have a Turkish friend, and I can still imagine him doing this. You from crazy half assed town in India.....read coffee residue? Do you even get craft coffee in your town?"

She gives me this tired, motherly look....after a few seconds says, "Done with your fk all racial commentary?"....."Ok here goes, I learnt this from a friend at my first place of work. She was originally from Qatar and possibly picked it up there."

She continued, "And by the way, its not called reading the patterns, its called divining."

Not to be left out, I said, "Its called tasseography."

She again paused, gave me this infinitely frustrated look and said "You na, are such an intellectual fucktard, you will know what a gear is called, but never learn to drive the car."...."Asshole....", she muttered under her breath.

Now I am trying to win her back, so I say, "Accha chalo divine karo" (Now proceed to divining).

Now part 2 of this story starts......



She stares deep into that cup for a full few minutes. As if, she was really some fking expert in this art. Then she looks up and says, "Amit, you are about to fall violently in love with someone."

Me, being the eternal flirt, I say, "Aha, finally. How long have I waited......With you, kya?"

"Fk off, and focus. This will be a girl, that you have not met yet. This might happen in the next 12 months. It will mad, heart pounding, pulse ripping love."

"Ok, so, I am going to meet someone in the next 12 months and fall madly in love with her. And this is a person I dont know yet......Should I be happy or worried about this?"

"Worried. If I were you. This kind of love, is bit like opening a puzzle pack. Once you have opened it, hard to put it back. Takes in immense effort. Of course if you do do it, the rewards are immense."

"So should I, then stay away from all women.". After a smile and pause I added, "Of course, this does not include you or the other existing women in my life."

She now gives me this fixed gaze, "Fker, what is it that you dont understand." 

I am still listening, she continues. 

"Are you a 15 year old? Love happens when you least expect it. You will fall in love with a fat, haggy looking person - and yet to you she will look like she is some actress. Love creeps up when you least expect it. This fking emotion makes all of us irrational. When you fall for this girl na, I promise, I will be amusing myself to death on the side."

I look down into my current cup for a few minutes. Silence from both sides. The last dregs are still left. I gulp it down. Walk upto her, hug her, kiss her and tell her "Goodnight, off I go now."

As I began the slow walk back towards my own room, it occurs to me, that love indeed comes softly. You dance like you waltz and then you pause at the edge of the room. You peer out. Is that love? Is love that feeling you have when you miss someone, but she is long gone? Is love that strange throb in the heart, when the person is still very much around, but you know, that world is out of reach? Or is love, just looking inwards and telling yourself, that when you live life with an open heart, every moment is love?

I reached the room around 11pm, and grabbed my third cup of coffee, which I sipped slowly for the next hr. 

Alone, as I stared out of the window - into that dark, sultry and empty river.

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